Holiday stress? Help is available
Hello AU. With the holidays soon upon us, many of you will be breathing a sigh of relief and anticipating a welcome mix of festivities and, dare I say, relaxation?
Others, however, might be anticipating an increase in stress. Your financial outlay is higher than usual as you strive to give your children a holiday to remember. Perhaps your extended family can be counted on to provide a labyrinth of competing expectations that will prove difficult to navigate without conflict and stress. You might be hoping a terminally ill friend or family member makes it through the holiday.
Holidays sometimes have a way of bringing challenging issues to the surface. We realize some of you may struggle more than usual with loneliness, loss, financial issues, family conflict, substance use, etc. In the event you find yourself struggling, we would like to remind you that help is available, easy to access, and free of charge.
AU has recently partnered with Homewood Health to provide our students with a Wellness Support Program that includes counselling and coaching services as well as educational information services on a variety of topics relating to mental health and wellness.
Students who call Homewood Health will be connected with an intake service that will assess your situation, risk, needs, and preferences, and will guide you to services that fit your needs. Your confidentiality is assured the same as with any counselling service. This means, your tutors, instructors, and faculty will not be informed that you’ve access services and your academic standing will not be negatively affected by seeking help.
Students with an active AU student number can access counselling in a variety of formats (face-to-face, over the phone or email, or chat) from qualified, experienced mental health professionals with master’s degrees or Ph.Ds. Homewood’s counsellors are trained to help you deal with issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, addiction or trauma, and a variety of other personal issues.
Homewood Health also offers Life Smart Coaching services with subject matter experts in a variety of areas including:
- Childcare and parenting
- Elder and family care
- Grief and loss
- Financial or legal issues
- Relationship challenges
- Career planning
- Workplace issues
- Health and weight management
- Smoking cessation
Lastly, a variety of online services can be accessed through Homewood Health’s Homeweb Member Services. These include the following:
- Online health and wellness library
- Health risk assessment
- Child and eldercare resource locators
- Self-directed cognitive-behavioural therapy modules for mild to moderate depression and anxiety
- Multimedia resources (podcasts and videos)
For more information
Please check our Wellness Support Program to find more information about the services available and, as an active AU student, how to access them. You can download a pdf brochure from this page. Culturally competent services are accessible in many languages.
We wish you happiness, health, fun, relaxation, joy and celebration for your holiday season. For those of you who find yourselves struggling, please don’t forget that resources are available.
Be well, AU.
If you have questions, comments, or wish to talk with someone, please email me.
Faye is a registered psychologist in Alberta and AU’s mental health coordinator.